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HONOLULU, Hawaii (March 24, 1998 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---Elementary school students on Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are the winners of a President's Environmental Youth Award for their work in helping save coral reefs.

In making the announcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator in San Francisco, Felicia Marcus, said the Tanapag Elementary School sixth-graders "not only increased their own knowledge about the significance of coral reefs" but also succeeded in informing "all who live on Saipan."

As part of their project, the students organized a community Coral Reef Day, participated in beach cleanups, constructed a model reef in one of their classrooms and joined adults in opposing development near sensitive reefs.

Sam Saito, representing the Saipan students, will travel to Washington with teacher Ron Snyder to participate in a national award ceremony on Thursday.

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